California’s Bold Blueprint for Reducing Carbon Pollution and Building a Clean Energy Economy

Press statement by Adrienne Alvord, California and Western States Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists

Published May 22, 2014


SACRAMENTO (May 22, 2014) - The California Air Resources Board today unanimously approved a sweeping new roadmap to achieve the state’s long-term carbon-reduction goals that serves as a national — and international — model for combating climate change.

The update to the state’s climate action plan calls for strategies that would accelerate reductions in carbon emissions and strengthen sectors including agriculture, water, and forestry. It also specifically takes aim at the most powerful global-warming pollutants such as methane and black carbon.

California is on track to meet its goals of reducing carbon emissions by 2020 as set out in the state’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as AB 32. Executive orders set a more ambitious target of reducing heat-trapping emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Current California climate policies are already reducing emissions from the energy and transportation sectors while also spurring economic growth and consumer savings. Already, gasoline use in California is down 9 percent since 2005, and stands to fall further as cars become more efficient, and zero- or low-emission vehicles and cleaner fuels reach the market.

Below is a statement by Adrienne Alvord, California and Western States Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists:

“The California Air Resources Board is providing us with a bold vision for what it will take to achieve a low-carbon future as well as a strong economy. The plan takes a scientific approach to making the deep reductions in emissions necessary to avert the most damaging impacts of climate change while continuing California’s historic leadership role in tackling this global challenge.

“This plan builds on the success of California’s current climate policies that are delivering economic benefits by attracting investments in clean technology and providing fuel savings for consumers. By planning for more aggressive measures now and recommending emissions reductions targets for 2030 and beyond, we will send a strong economic signal that clean energy is a smart investment.

“Achieving greater reductions in carbon pollution will require expanded use of renewable energy, smarter water management, and the development and deployment of zero and near-zero tailpipe emissions solutions across the freight sector, among other actions.

“The Union of Concerned Scientists will continue working with the California Air Resources Board on how to most effectively address climate change and decarbonize our economy over the next decades.”